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Abstract

The HOTSAT multiplatform system for the analysis of infrared data from satellites provides a framework that allows the detection of volcanic hotspots and an output of their associated radiative power. This multiplatform system can operate on both Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer and Spinning Enhanced Visible and Infrared Imager data. The new version of the system is now implemented on graphics processing units and its interface is available on the internet under restricted access conditions. Combining the estimation of time-varying discharge rates using HOTSAT with the MAGFLOW physics-based model to simulate lava flow paths resulted in the first operational system in which satellite observations drive the modelling of lava flow emplacement. This allows the timely definition of the parameters and maps essential for hazard assessment, including the propagation time of lava flows and the maximum run-out distance. The system was first used in an operational context during the paroxysmal episode at Mt Etna on 12–13 January 2011, when we produced real-time predictions of the areas likely to be inundated by lava flows while the eruption was still ongoing. This allowed key at-risk areas to be rapidly and appropriately identified.

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